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Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

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New York City, New...
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Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

this is not a question. this is a response to a posting.

i used this Shalom Journey's when i went to Israel - my first trip December 15-December 31st, 2013. the following are my experiences with Shalom Journey's:

To begin with Israel is an amazing country filled with historical and religious and contemporary sites. The people of Israel are warm and welcoming but be careful of the constantly changing prices (lol). I am already planning my next trip it was so great!

Now on to my review of the travel services I received while planning my trip and while I was in Israel.

I booked my tour with Shalom Journey’s (Shalom Even, owner) because I saw such amazing reviews on tripadvisor. I will be more cautious in the future.

When I booked my trip with Shalom he was very nice and very responsive, he requested payment by check (with the exception of a small initial deposit of $250 to guarantee the hotel, he said). Once he received my money and cashed my checks he was not so responsive. He kept putting me off about receiving vouchers in the mail that he claimed were necessary for my trip- I became anxious called continually, I spoke to his wife and his son, both very lovely but did not speak to him again until just days before I left on my trip when he told me that he had forgotten to send them I received them just 4 days before I left.

Happily, there was a car to meet me at the airport although we took a long route as he had another passenger in the car and stopped repeatedly to allow her to run errands, after nearly an hour we arrived at my hotel, Prima Kings in Jerusalem – a little run down but nice staff and amazing breakfast.

The tour was subcontracted to Diesenhaus tours. Diesenhaus tours further subcontracted to rent a guide. The tour was rushed, little or no time to shop or see anything at all. The tour guide, Aharon, I felt singled me out for poor treatment as I was a single woman on a bus primarily occupied by couples. The couples were wonderful and welcoming which made for a wonderful trip. Initially, Aharon seemed to be joking but as the days wore on it became apparent that it was not good natured ribbing. At the point at which he dropped some of us in Tel Aviv, he left us more than ½ block from the hotel. Had it not been for the husbands of the 2 couples with me coming back for me to help me with all of my luggage I would not have known what to do. There are no words for a man doing that to a single woman alone. He would not have wanted his wife, daughters or mother treated as he did me. Aharon claimed that there was no where to pull up in front of the hotel. I inquired about this at the hotel and they told me and showed me that infact there was a specific place for him to pull over, he chose not to.

On the Sunday a different tour guide arrived for us Tomer, he was very nice, he came with a large bus and many, many more tourists. Some of the people grumbled on the trip because they specifically did not want to be on such a large tour and had specifically told Shalom Journeys that (I had no such notions). Tomer was knowledgeable and kind a huge improvement over Aharon. During the trip when I told Tomer it was one of the ladies birthday’s he arranged for a cake and a celebration for her, it was lovely. The only thing that was unfortunate was the last day of the tour. We came from the Golan Heights and instead of stopping in Tel Aviv first to drop off 7 people at 2 hotels he told us that he has instructions from his company to drop off the other 20+ people in Jerusalem at 5 hotels taking hours to do so. Tel Aviv is on the way to Jerusalem from the Golan Heights but he said he had been instructed and it was out of his control. As unhappy as I was I tried to understand but the patience of the 7 of us were wearing thin as it took nearly 5 hours and we were hungry tired and cranky. It would have taken less than an hour to drop us off and it was on the way to Jerusalem and Tomer had to go back to Jerusalem so this was wasted time, effort and gas (which is currently about $7.00 a gallon, American in Israel)

On December 25th I met my daughter; we were staying on for a few days together at the Prima Tel Aviv. We got to the hotel at noon, I asked for a wake up call at 2PM. They called at 12:30 telling me to get out of my room, I had no reservation. I went down to speak to them, I said I have a reservation – the clerk yelled at me why do you have 2 reservations that is why they didn’t know I had a reservation. I said that’s your problem not mine and went back to my room to sleep (my daughter was still asleep). At 1PM the hotel clerk called me and told me I had to pack and get out of my room I had to go to a different room. i went downstairs to the lobby. I told the clerk that I would be happy to move rooms only to a room on the top floors 4th or 5th floor. He said I will show you the room I said don’t bother if it’s not on the high floors. He insisted and I went with him, it was a beautiful room with a lovely view it was the more expensive room I had paid for, however, it was on the 1st floor, just above the bar. I told him it was unacceptable he told me to deal with my travel agent. the travel agent of record was Diesenhaus tours, I called 5 times they kept telling me to hold and kept hanging up on me, by the 4th call I was screaming- on the 5th call I spoke to Mieri, she wanted to know why the room was unacceptable I told her that at night they had a bar on the ground floor and at night the patrons roamed the halls looking for a place- the lower floors mostly -to have sex, I knew this because I had stayed on a lower floor last week, why didn’t I complain then she demanded the hotel management doesn’t know, I said of course they do a couple on the tour demanded a room change in the middle of the night because of these conditions. She then told me that she had spoken to Shalom Journey’s – Shalom Evan and that he would be giving me a partial refund on the price of the more expensive room that I was unable to use.

I returned from my trip and emailed him twice no response and phoned once again no response. I guess the only time he is responsive is before he cashes your check and then not at all when he owes you money.

Overall I loved the country, but I will be much more careful in the future.

New York City, New...
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11. Re: Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

i just noticed that all of the people who have responded to my post are israel destination experts. please let me know how i can contact you all since i intend to return to israel next year.

thanks.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
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12. Re: Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

Your best bet is just to post on here and ask questions -- that is what we love to do: answer questions and help people plan their trips. I also have free, noncommercial travel guide that I'm happy to send you when you're ready to start planning -- you'll just need to e-mail me at Labatt@fuse.net.

This forum will help you plan out the whole thing and have a better travel experience.

Douglas Duckett

Gippsland, Australia
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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6,333 posts
89 reviews
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13. Re: Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

We all learn more about travelling as we do more and more trips. I don't think that you could be expected to know that one agent would go through another, who would go through a third etc. I know I wouldn't have known that could happen on my first international trip.

One thing I have learned from the few tours that I have been on and that is that when I have chosen the tour by selecting a tour with a leader that we felt comfortable with, the result has been fantastic. On a couple of times we went through an agent the result was acceptable in general, but not as good. We all learn as we go along.

It was good to know you want to return. Israel is definitely addictive.

Oreets posts here regularly, and there are others who post here regularly who can help you plan a future trip. Oreets is a particular blessing to us all because she is actually a tour guide and her input here is fantastic. (Ok she is not allowed to advertise herself but I can advertise her!) We also have other private guides who post here, as well as people like you and me who are travellers, so if you should want a private guide for part or all of your next trip then keep checking here to get to get to know what advice is given, gain ideas for your next trip, and to see if the guides who help here might be a good fit for you.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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35 reviews
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14. Re: Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

Nas--I was surprised at your step by step response to my post. If it made you feel defensive, I apologize, that was NOT my intention.

I was also shocked at your last statement where you wrote you did NOT say you loved the company....so I scrolled back to MY post and saw that I had indeed written that. EEECKS, that WAS not what I had intended to say. I most certainly had intended to say that I was glad you loved the COUNTRY!!! Talk about a huge error. (and poor proofreading on my part) It was more than obvious that you had, understandably, loads of problems with the company!

Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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272 reviews
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15. Re: Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

Your experiences are quite unfortunate, but it seems that you enjoyed your trip nonetheless and the fact that you are planning your next trip is a great sign. There is alot to be learned by perusing TA and while recommendations of companies are useful it is also very useful to speak on the phone (even if you are only speaking to a clerk) to get a feel for the company. It is also good to try and get recommendations from more than one source (not exclusively from TA).

When looking for a budget way to tour, such with daily tours, it is always best to go directly to the company offering such tours, such as Rent-a-guide, like in this case. They can also arrange for hotel accommodations and thus forgo the 'middle-man' like Shalom tours.

To contact any of the posters, just press on their name and then there is a little envelope where you can send them a private message (PM), including a subject line and message body. The person will receive an email and then you can correspond in this fashion.

Chana

Israel

Edited: 3:55 pm, January 14, 2014
New York City, New...
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16. Re: Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

within 24 hours of my last post on trip advisor i received an email from Shalom Journey's.

i just received and cashed my partial refund check for the difference in price of the hotel room i booked and the hotel room i received. thank you to tripadvisor and everyone on the site for your help and advice.

Montvale, New Jersey
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17. Re: Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

Is this shalom journeys a different company than shalom israel tours (shalom stark)?

Gippsland, Australia
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem
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18. Re: Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

Yes, they are different.

Shalom Journeys website is here:

http://www.shalomjourneys.com

Shalom Israel Tours website is here:

http://shalomisraeltours.com

Shalom Journeys appears to be owned by someone called Shalom Even and Shalom Israel tours appears to be owned by someone called Shalom Stark.

Edited: 9:11 pm, January 21, 2015
19. Re: Shalom Journey's - Shalom Even

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